Thousands of Pakistani students attacked by locals in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

BISHKEK: Reports indicate that thousands of locals attacked Pakistani medical students in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in the early hours of Saturday, with hundreds reported injured.

According to reports circulating on social media and testimonies from Pakistani students in Bishkek, the attacks on Pakistani medical students in the Kyrgyz capital followed a scuffle between Egyptian students and several local men.

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On May 13, a fight occurred between locals and Egyptian students in Bishkek. The altercation was allegedly triggered when locals broke into the hostel room of an Egyptian girl at Avicenna University, leading to a confrontation between Egyptian medical students and locals.

Sources on the ground indicate that thousands of locals subsequently attacked all foreigners, primarily targeting Pakistanis due to their significant presence among the foreign student population.

The locals reportedly attacked Indian, Egyptian, and Pakistani students. However, Pakistanis bore the brunt of the violence, with their hostels and residences breached.

A Pakistani student living in Bishkek reported that locals broke down doors and entered hostels housing Pakistani students. Male students were severely beaten, while female students were allegedly harassed.

Videos circulating online show several locals beating two men. After the crowd dispersed, a single man was seen lying on the ground after being beaten.

Reports from Bishkek reveal that the army has been called in, and streets leading to universities and hostels have been cordoned off.

Two Pakistanis were reportedly killed, although this could not be verified.

The Pakistani embassy issued a warning to Pakistani students to avoid going outside and to remain indoors. The Pakistani ambassador to Kyrgyzstan took to X (formerly Twitter) to warn the students.

“In view of mob violence around student hostels in Bishkek, the embassy strongly advises all Pakistani students in Bishkek to stay indoors until the situation returns to normal. We are liaising with the local law enforcement authorities to ensure the safety of our student fraternity,” the ambassador stated.

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The Foreign Office spokesperson is reportedly in contact with Kyrgyz authorities.

Various social media posts by Pakistani students are explaining the situation on the ground, with many appealing to the relevant authorities for immediate help.

More than 12,000 Pakistanis, primarily studying medicine, reside in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

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